★★★★☆ (4/5) – Readers on Stage: Resources for Reader’s Theater by Aaron Shepard is a great introduction to the reader’s theater process for elementary and middle-school educators. The author provides sample scripts that are suitable for all ages, but would mainly be of interest to students in grades 3-5. The book also contains a host of resources for scripting, teaching, and directing reader’s theater workshops in the classroom. I believe that reader’s theater is a great way to integrate the arts into a traditional language arts curriculum and motivate reluctant readers to participate in read-aloud activities and build reading fluency. Though the sample scripts are a little childish for late middle-grade and high school level students, the other resources in this book seem like they will be very useful for any educator who wants to teach reader’s theater.
From Amazon: ****A “CENTRAL TEXT” IN NEW YORK STATE’S COMMON CORE CURRICULUM****Want to try reader’s theater but don’t know where to start? Or have you tried it but want to find ways to bring it more to life? Or are you just looking for a fun, easy way to lure young people into reading fluency, cooperative effort, effective communication, and love of literature?“Readers on Stage” is a collection of resources for scripting, directing, and teaching reader’s theater, primarily to ages 8 and up. Part 1 offers three sample scripts to learn from and enjoy: “The Legend of Lightning Larry,” “Peddler Polly and the Story Stealer,” and “The Baker’s Dozen.” Part 2 highlights each major aspect of reader’s theater — scripting, staging, and dramatic reading — offering tips and tricks you’re not likely to find elsewhere. For instance, you’ll learn how young readers can easily create their own scripts!Part 3 provides all the plans, notes, handouts, and worksheets from actual reader’s theater workshops, ready for copying. Use them to start with reader’s theater tomorrow in a classroom or library, or to lead your own workshop for adults. Finally, Part 4 gives listings of additional resources.Whether you’re working with young readers, training teachers, or directing a professional company, you’ll want this unique, detailed guide.